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New Charlie Hebdo issue highly coveted in U.S.

Wednesday January 14, 2015    12:24 PM

PARIS, France - The first edition of Charlie Hebdo since last week's massacre has been published, with a cover proclaiming, "All is forgiven."

France readers have purchased the magazine in record numbers, the newest edition of Charlie Hebdo. However, U.S. publications have refused to do the same, apparently afraid to front the Prophet Muhammad in U.S. stores.

Today the satirical newspaper's first issue since last week's deadly attack on its staff went on sale in France with an initial print run of 3 million copies and front-page coverage around the world.

But the New York Post reports that there will only be 300 copies of the issue for sale in the U.S., according to Martin McEwen, an executive with the weekly's North American distributor. McEwen told Fortune that people in the U.S. will be able to buy the new edition on Friday morning in "most major markets."

The latest edition of the satirical newspaper may well be the hottest unavailable item in New York, as phones at magazine and newspaper vendors rang off the hook with thousands of inquiries.

"This is all I'm doing today!" said Ami Patel, owner of the Around the World magazine and book store near Times Square - one of the city's biggest purveyors of foreign publications.

"There's a phone call every minute, plus walk-ins," said Patel, who could barely finish a sentence before another call came in.

It was a similar story at other magazine sellers; even the New York-based cultural division of the French Embassy said it had not yet received any copies.

It was unclear how many outlets would even be able to sell the highly coveted newspaper in the U.S.

On its website, the American Booksellers Association says it's "actively exploring the logistics of obtaining copies of the upcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo for member stores to carry."

Some people are looking in to cash in on the new edition. One listing on eBay shows that the weekly is going for more than $1,000.

Meanwhile, a page on Amazon offers a one-year subscription of the weekly. The price: $181. Delivery time: Four to six weeks.

French police also revealed that Coulibaly was cut down in a hail of 40 bullets as he ran from the market with guns blazing at exhausted cops, who had been on the hunt for 50 hours without sleep.

"One of the things that most motivated us was that video of the odious assassination of our colleague Ahmed Merabet outside Charlie," one of the officers told Le Parisien. Also Monday, dramatic surveillance images show the Charlie Hebdo terrorists — brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi — holding up a gas station while brandishing a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.


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